Foreign travel advice

Mozambique

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.

Safety and security

Crime

Most visits to Mozambique are trouble-free, but street crime, sometimes involving knives and firearms, is common in Maputo and increasing in other cities and tourist destinations. There are some areas in cities which are more dangerous; seek local advice.

Be vigilant at all times. Beaches or offshore islands are not policed. Avoid walking alone at night and don’t display valuables or money. Use a hotel safe if possible. Avoid withdrawing cash from ATMs at night.

Some visitors to Mozambique report being victims of police harassment, including robbery, or requests for bribes. If a police officer threatens you or asks for a bribe, you should report the incident to the British High Commission Maputo.

If you are a victim of any form of crime and wish to report it, contact the local police immediately and get a police report. If your passport is stolen you should also contact the British High Commission and inform the local immigration authorities.

There have been criminal kidnappings reported in Mozambique, mainly in Maputo. While most victims have been Mozambicans, foreigners have also been targeted. The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage-taking.

Local travel

If you’re working in Mozambique, you should follow your employer’s local security guidelines. Employers are strongly advised to take professional security advice, be vigilant at all times and review security measures regularly. Keep others informed of your travel plans and vary your routines. Make sure your accommodation is secure and consider pre-deployment training or travelling under close protection, particularly if working in Cabo Delgado. See Terrorism

Cabo Delgado province

The FCDO advise against all travel to the districts of Mueda, Nangade, Palma, Mocimboa da Praia, Muidumbe, Meluco, Macomia, Quissanga and Ibo in Cabo Delgado Province, including the islands off the coast, due to attacks by groups with links to Islamic extremism.

The FCDO also advise against all but essential travel to to the districts of Ancuabe and Metuge (with the exception of the city of Pemba) in Cabo Delgado province, including the islands off the coast, due to attacks by groups with links to Islamic extremism. See Terrorism

Sofala province

The FCDO advise against all but essential travel on the EN1 road between Inchope and the town of Gorongoza and the EN6 road between Tica and Inchope, in Sofala province. Since August 2019, there have been a number of armed attacks on vehicles on roads in the province.

Minefields

All known minefields in Mozambique have been cleared. In the central and southern provinces (Sofala, Tete, Manica, Gaza, Inhambane, Maputo), mines may still exist in remote areas away from main routes. Seek advice from district authorities if you’re travelling in these areas.

Road travel

UK driving licences are valid for up to 90 days. If you intend to stay longer you should get an International Driving Permit or apply for a Mozambican licence. The office which issues driving licences has now reopened. It is an offence not to carry your driving licence with you when driving. Be ready to present original car documentation when requested by the police.

Third party insurance cover is compulsory. You can buy this at most land borders. You should carry two reflective triangles and a reflective vest in your vehicle at all times. You must wear the reflective vest when repairing, loading or unloading a vehicle. Police officers sometimes attempt to extract bribes from tourists. Don’t pay a bribe to anyone. If you are stopped by the police, ask for a clear explanation of the offence and a written fine that can be paid at a police station.

Only travel by road outside Maputo and other major cities during daylight. Where possible, keep to major roads and travel in convoy in rural areas. Fuel is often only available in larger towns.

Since August 2019, there have been a number of armed attacks on vehicles on roads in Sofala province. The FCDO advise against all but essential travel on the EN1 between Inchope and the town of Gorongoza and the EN6 between Tica and Inchope.

There have been reports of carjacking, particularly in Maputo but also between Boane and the Swaziland border crossing points of Namaacha and Goba. Keep your car doors locked while driving. Be particularly vigilant when arriving at or leaving residential properties after dark. Avoid driving alone at night.

Don’t pick up strangers or stop to help distressed motorists or pedestrians. Hijackers sometimes use these techniques to trick motorists into stopping their vehicle. If in doubt, drive directly to a police station.

Traffic accidents are common in Mozambique due to the condition of the roads and poor driving and vehicle standards. Always drive carefully and be aware of pedestrians using the roads.

Overland travel on public transport can be hazardous due to poor vehicle and road conditions. If you doubt a vehicle’s condition, make alternative arrangements.

Low-lying areas around major rivers flood regularly during the rainy season (November - April) making many roads impassable. Check local conditions before travelling. Make sure you have emergency supplies, including a first aid kit.

Air travel

The FCDO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes lists of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices – IATA Operational Safety Audit and IATA Standard Safety Assessment. These lists aren’t exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation has carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in Mozambique.

You can find a list of recent incidents and accidents on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

Until 16 May 2017 all Mozambican airlines were refused permission to operate services to the EU. The EU ban was imposed because the Mozambican regulatory authorities were unable to verify that these airlines complied with international safety standards. The EU operating ban was lifted on 16 May 2017.

Flights operated by the Government-owned airline LAM are prone to cancellation without notice. Check your flight information between 24 and 48 hours before your scheduled departure.

Sea travel

Recent piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden highlight that the threat of piracy related activity and armed robbery in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean remains significant. Reports of attacks on local fishing dhows in the area around the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa continue. The combined threat assessment of the international Naval Counter Piracy Forces remains that all sailing yachts under their own passage should remain out of the designated High Risk Area or face the risk of being hijacked and held hostage for ransom. For more information and advice, see Piracy and armed robbery at sea.

Political situation

President Filipe Nyusi was re-elected for a second term in October 2019.

Protests or demonstrations can occur with little notice. You should remain vigilant, monitor local media reports, avoid demonstrations and large crowds, and carry ID with you at all times. Make sure you have a means of communication with you at all times and that your mobile phone is charged.